Friday, January 05, 2007

Hail Cesar

Last night I had cauliflower and I liked it. That's the power of Cesar, a tapas bar with locations in Berkeley and Oakland: turning cauliflower haters around.

The crisp fried cauliflower with spicy salsa rojo and lush salsa verde is just one of many delicious treats I've savored in my four trips to this convivial spot. It was founded by three Chez Panisse alums, so the food is always seasonal and made with high quality ingredients. Case in point: the bright orange, mint and black olive salad Jess and I shared last night, drizzled with a fragrant, snappy olive oil.

Also, the Cesar martini ranks as my favorite cocktail right now: vodka with a teeny splash of pastis. The hint of licorice in the ice cold vodka perks ya up and primes your palate. Not that it needs much encouragement here--just looking at the menu gets me going.

Try to grab a seat at the bar or the communal tables at either location--chatting with your neighbors and glimpsing their orders will certainly lead to trying new dishes--maybe even something you think you hate, like cauliflower!

Bar Cesar

4039 Piedmont Avenue
Daily 11:30am to midnight

1515 Shattuck Avenue
Daily noon to midnight


Anonymous said...

Rawr! Panda know where to get tapas in NorCal! Find panda tapas in OC!

Panda want tapas... =b

- Chubbypanda

connie said...

well... honestly though, everything fried is good. but the place sounds like a lot of fun

marielle said...

Have you ever tried roasting cauliflower? The fried version sounds absolutely fantastic, but roasted is what turned me into a cauliflower convert.

Erin S. said...

Connie--you're right--frying does help.

Marielle--nope, I haven't. However, I have some cauliflower (the crazy colored kind that's at the market right now) in my fridge that I'll have to roast. Will let you know the results!